Remember the days when your child asked what you thought and valued your input in their life? Remember when they would do what you asked, even begrudgingly, but they did it almost when and how you wanted? Remember when you felt safe with a sense of control and influence over another human that validated your worth?
A-hem(insert uncomfortable squirm).
That last one’s a slap, isn’t it?
Gone are the days of raising a child. Now you’re raising an adult and it’s an entirely different job description no one told you about – the worst blindside of parenting I can’t believe still happens.
After a decade of parenting, you were starting to get comfortable, find your stride and thought the hardest part of teaching your child to human was tapering off, you woke up one morning and it all changed. Everything that worked before, doesn’t work now. Your teen is defensive, moody, and wants nothing to do with you, spending their time in their room on their phones or with friends.
Of course, you try more of what worked before and your relationship continues to crumble. Now you’re either walking on eggshells and afraid to breath wrong and poke the bear or in a yelling match because you asked your teen to complete one small task.
Fast forward months or years of crying on your bathroom floor and sleepless nights having stopped sharing anything about your kids to avoid the inevitable parent shaming and you come to the most obvious conclusion:
“My teen is doing this on purpose.”
You’ve done everything you know how, and they aren’t coming to the table with anything so they’re doing this on purpose. It’s the only explanation that makes sense.
That one belief leads to a list of others that all build to create conflict and disconnection.
1. They know better
You’ve spent years raising them with solid values and have NEVER modelled what they’re dishing out now, so this must be intentional.
2. They’re just being irresponsible and selfish
When did everything become all about them and their needs? Do they have any idea what you’ve sacrificed for them to have the life they enjoy? And when has it ever been ok or blow off commitments to family and school like there’s no consequences??
3. They’re lazy
Your teen would be doing the work if it didn’t feel hard. They just want the easy way or ‘get out of jail FREE card’ and you’re worried you might’ve made their life too good.
4. They’re just mad because they aren’t getting their way
Grow up kid! You have to listen to your boss and follow rules so what makes them so entitled they think they can throw fits until they get their way? Didn’t that end in the toddler years??
5. They’re disrespectful
If you talked to your parents like that you’d still be grounded with welts from the whooping that came with it. How dare they challenge your authority and talk back using rude words and tone!
Understanding the science of your teen’s brain development isn’t letting them off the hook. It’s reconciling your beliefs, what you want, and the way you were raised with reality.
No buts. Science + research = reality.
Your teen is
· right about everything and wants you to know it and acknowledge it
· wanting empowerment rather than being constantly told what to do, when and how
· pushing back on what they’re told to value, care about and perform at as they develop their own values and beliefs
· likely struggling with overwhelm and without effective coping habits they avoid to suppress anxiety and fear
· building autonomy and figuring how who they are and how to survive without you on their terms
· wanting agency over their life to choose and do what aligns with what they care about
· developing complex feelings, emotions, and thoughts without the tools for effective expression they need your help to learn, not shut down.
The number one change parents who take my programs make that made the biggest difference in building respect, trust and connection is….
“My teen isn’t doing this on purpose.”
That moment you stop taking everything personally and see your teen as literally getting a new brain with no manual and no warning (they liked who they were before too and this sh!t is scary!), you instantly change the way you show up in your relationship.
Parents in my programs who’ve changed this one belief tell me:
· “I have more compassion, and patience for what my teen is going through.”
· “I’m learning what it means to be their ally and not always the enemy.”
· “I have tools to set healthy boundaries my teen respects rather than needing to control them.”
· “I understand why constant punishments only made things worse and how to use consequences to connect and teach….so we need less consequences!”
· “When I stopped expecting my teen to change, I noticed them trying to meet me in the middle, so we were both part of creating a new relationship”
· “I still get frustrated but I’m far less resentful.”
· “I have more energy and take better care of myself.”
· “There’s less yelling and more listening in our house.”
If you want more of the above and you’re ready to reconnect with your teen even if everything you’ve already tried isn’t working, click below to be notified when my programs begin again in January.
There’s limited seating to assure personalized attention so click the link above to get first dibs on creating the relationship you want with your teen (because they want that too!) because THIS isn’t as good as it gets.